Lesson Overview: This fall activity is a creative and completely hands-on approach to teaching children about autumn. Use it as a whole group activity, as part of a learning center or as an assessment. Either way, students will enjoy the sensory activity and you will enjoy the many skills it incorporates--math (sorting), science (investigation) and literacy (labeling). Here are the details on how to implement it:

  1. Students will first collect items that they find in nature during the fall season. This can be done as a whole class or as a homework assignment. Items can also be gathered ahead of time for the students to sort through. Be sure that one long stick per student is gathered to create the stem for each leaf. During their nature walk, encourage students to engage their senses when gathering their items outdoors:
  • What did you hear? (wind howling, leaves being blown, leaves crunching beneath my feet, acorns falling from trees)
  • What did you see? (Leaves blowing, branches bending, acorns falling, squirrels gathering)
  • What did you feel? (wind blowing on face, dry leaves, rough/smooth sticks)
  • What did you smell? (firewood burning, grass being cut, leaves and dirt being blown)

2. A large leaf pattern will be traced and cut out of butcher paper (1 per student).

3. The title Autumn Is... will be written at the top of each large leaf.

4. Each student will sort nature items according to color/category (e.g. red leaves, brown leaves, acorns, wheat, etc.).

5. Groups of items will be glued onto the large paper leaf.

6. Items are labeled.

Possible Modifications/Accommodations:

For students that may have difficulty with sorting and/or labeling, here are some options:

  1. Have large paper leaves already labeled. Students can then choose items out of labeled bins to glue accurately onto the leaf.
  2. Have items already sorted in labeled bins. Students will choose items, glue them, and then label using the already created label as a guide.
  3. Print out labels that you (or student) have created on the computer to be stuck onto the large leaf.

Hands-on Sensory Autumn Activity